On the way home from the Orient-New London Ferry terminal in Orient, dinner at BBQ Bill's in Greenport seemed an enticing option. We arrived around 7:45 and were shown to a table on the upstairs deck, where six of us enjoyed the cool breezes off Peconic Bay.
Our waitress was upbeat, friendly and, as it turned out, blithely inept.

"Could we possibly get some corn bread before the meal?" I asked. "No problem." And yes, she said, the pulled pork pizza was completely house-made, so it would take at least 15 minutes.

About six minutes later, no corn bread in sight, our pizza materialized as a fine confluence of pulled pork and melted cheese atop a thick, dry house-heated Boboli-style crust. Another starter, barbecued shrimp in the shell, was OK, if a bit overcooked. The friend who ordered a grilled chicken wrap was faced with hard slices of herbed chicken bundled with lettuce and tomato.

We decided to share a "pig out" platter geared to generously feed five. What came, however, was hardly what the menu promised. No baby backs -- just St. Louis ribs. Hardly any chopped brisket. And no corn bread. "We ran out of food" was the explanation we got after inquiring about the deficits. No apologies.

Still, there was lots to eat.

Sliced brisket was smoky and moist, if a trifle bland. Had we caught an earlier ferry, there might have been more than a few forkfuls left of the chopped brisket moistened with barbecue sauce, which was delectable. One of the St. Louis ribs I tasted was meaty, moist and tender, another dry. Well-burnished barbecued chicken proved a treat, moist and smoky throughout. I found both the saucy pulled pork and pulled chicken quite likable.

But a side dish of fries amounted to lukewarm previously frozen batter-dipped sticks. I thought the mac and cheese mushy and underseasoned, but the sweet-ish baked beans were appealing. So, too, were the four pieces of corn on the cob. Best was the rich, garlicky creamed spinach.

From what I've observed, this summer, BBQ Bill's is hopping most every night with a multigenerational crowd that comes for the 'cue and the scene. All that's missing from the picture is a close attention to detail.

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Reviewed by Joan Reminick, 8/15/07.